Linda Barnard

Linda Barnard

Award-winning film and travel writer
Travel Media Association of Canada, Society of American Travel Writers, Toronto Film Critics Association
My company is Spellbound: captivating writing


In Udaipur, tranquility in the shadow of luxurious palaces

With a centuries-old palace as the backdrop for an early morning yoga session beside calm Lake Pichola, Udaipur lives up to its reputation as a place blessed with good vibrations and movie-screen good looks.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Feel your soul soar at the Taj Mahal

“Feel you are in paradise. Don’t feel you are just tourists to take some pictures and go."
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

UFA @ 100: Metropolis - The Robotic Woman

Toronto film critic Linda Barnard reexamined Brigitte Helm's Maria in METROPOLIS.
Goethe-Institut Toronto blog Link to Story

Playful Jake Gyllenhaal sees himself in Stronger role

Stronger star and producer Jake Gyllenhaal laughs and gives the OK to swipe a scented candle from the downtown hotel room during our interview at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. “Jake said I could.” Tempting, but it stays on the table.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Tatiana Maslany: the stories that made movie Stronger

Boston Marathon bombing story required digging into the script and meeting with Erin Hurley, the real life character she plays. Tatiana Maslany leaves the busy company of Orphan Black’s fictional clones to play real-life character Erin Hurley in the Boston Marathon bombing drama, Stronger. Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is generating early Oscar buzz as Hurley’s ex-husband Jeff Bauman, whose mangled lower legs were amputated after the 2013 terrorist attack.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour; bringing Frankenstein’s creator to life

As Saudi Arabia’s first female director, her debut film, Wadjda (2012), was about an 11-year-old girl who defies convention to raise money for a coveted-but-forbidden green bicycle. A critical and box office success – and made in a kingdom without cinemas – Wadjda was Saudi Arabia’s first film submission to the Academy Awards, in 2013.
The National Abu Dhabi/ Link to Story

At TIFF premier, Lady Gaga invites ‘an authentic and real look into my life’

In the documentary ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two,’ one of pop music’s biggest superstars comes across as candid, funny, furiously dedicated to her art, yet fragile.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Here's how you hide a star at the Toronto International Film Festival

From private air terminals to underground hotel entrances, there are lots of ways to keep celebs from being seen during TIFF.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Cool and Unusual Things to do on Your Netherlands Vacation

Go north from Amsterdam, curious traveller, even just across the river IJ (pronounced “eye”) by free ferry from Centraal Station to uncover fun and offbeat experiences to set you apart from other Netherlands visitors. You might be the only Canadian to drop by in weeks, or months, at some of these places.
Canadian Traveller Link to Story

Wake up happy: hang out among the treetops in P.E.I.

Sheila Arsenault’s dream of offering an escape, wellness and ‘an authentic experience’ comes true in the woods outside Charlottetown. Remember your favourite duvet fort when you were a kid? Nestle it in a futuristic, framed geodesic dome set high in a forest to get a TreePod, the latest in woodsy-chic stays.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Phoenix hotel encourages you to ‘Find Yourself’ as city reinvents itself

As Phoenix continues to reinvent itself, hip stay Found: Re emerges as the new ‘it’ spot, steeped in art and industrial-modern design.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

How to spend two days in Abu Dhabi

There were nervous grins in the back seat of the powerful land cruiser when guide Faizal Mohamed posed the question, expertly nudging our vehicle to the crest of a dune in the Al Khatim Desert. A brief pause and we were skidding down the steep slope, shrieking with laughter. The 4x4 roller coaster ride was part of a desert safari about a 45-minute drive and a world away from ultra-modern downtown Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story


Linda Barnard

A freelance writer covering film and travel, I have more than three decades of experience in deadline-driven digital and print journalism. I'm the former movie writer and a staff film critic at the Toronto Star and a National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment) and winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. I have extensive experience as a restaurant critic and food, wine and cocktail writer.
I write for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, Canadian Traveller Magazine, Fodor's, Movie Entertainment Magazine, Montecristo Magazine, The National Abu Dhabi and others.
My creative clients include Telefilm Canada and Star Metro Media.
I write eloquent speeches, craft well-written targeted content and can provide media training.